Creative Climate runner up – Caitlin Gautrey – ‘Climate Change’

This article was submitted by Caitlin Gautrey, a Year 8 student from John Smeaton Academy.

 

The effects of changing climate have had a huge impact on peoples livelihoods as well as wildlife and environment all around the world. Climate change has affected me because I wouldn’t know what could happen, you don’t know if it could be raining sunny or even snowy. Forest fires, also known as wildfire, continue to threaten already endangered species, such as Pikas, Tufted Puffins, green sea turtles and polar bears. Polar bears could disappear in the wild unless the pace of global warming slows down. Depending on sea ice, the animal uses it to float along the water to catch their prey, people believe that their ice caps are melting at a rate of 9% per decade, this is endangering the polar bears existence and is getting them closer to extinction. The Kynsa seahorse is extremely vulnerable to increases in water temperatures; in 1991, over 3,000 were found dead after heavy rainfall resulted in higher than normal temperatures. Increased flooding also puts the seahorses at risk. In 2003, the number of sea horses declined by about 85 percent, but there is anecdotal evidence that some populations are increasing. The Kaputar pink slug is only found on a specific mountain in Australia. Climate change is a major threat to it because increased temperatures will further restrict the slugs already small sub-alpine habitat. Having even a small increase in temperature could lead to a 55 percent habitat reduction. Several of Australia’s marsupials are at threatened by climate change. The Northern Hairy-Nose Wombats small population size makes random changes in climate or severe weather events a threat to them. Increased droughts can also hurt the wombats, since they lead to a competition with domesticated animals for food. Like the wombat, the Banded Hair wallaby faces threats from droughts; two reintroduction attempts failed due to droughts. In general, s rise in extreme weather events could harm the population, as they are located in a single bay in western Australia. Both whooping cranes are several types of Ibis are being threatened by climate change. A drought in 2009, which hurt the availability of several key food items for the crane, caused mortality rates to the double, it lowered breeding success by 50 percent. Mosquitoes carrying avian malaria are a major threat to the Akikiki, while they cannot currently survive in the equivalent as to where the Akikikis live, scientists are worried that rising temperatures could allow mosquitoes to thrive in Akikiki and pass on avain malaria. Forest fires/wildfire is where the forest is that dry from the sun, that every little spark can cause huge fires amongst the forest, this shows that the forest is totally dry because it hasn’t rained in that area for a while.

Climate change would cause regions to either become wetter, and others warmer. Sea levels will rise as glaciers melt, while some regions will be more at risk of heat waves, drought, flooding and natural disasters. Climate change could ruin food chains and ecosystems, putting whole species at risk of extinction.